Sidewalk project will take 3 years

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Work is expected to begin at any time on phase one of the South Church Street sidewalk project.

Town Manager Jammie Royall said he met last week with the engineering firm and final details are being closed out to clear the way for construction.

He also said there has been a change in who will do the work.

Plans called for in-house personnel to do the work, but the town manager said his personnel are so far behind because of COVID that he has decided to contract the work out.

Two contractors are vying for the job and it should be underway within the week, Royall said.

The first phase of the project is construction of a sidewalk on the east side of South Church Street, from Franklin to Nelson streets.

Next year, crews will undertake phase two, building a sidewalk on the east side of Church from Nelson to Hillsboro streets.

The final phase the following year will see a sidewalk construction from South Church and Hillsboro streets, west over to Center Street.

The three-phase project is being financed with state Powell Aid funds appropriated twice a year to the town.

Project funds were set aside after a state transportation study five years ago.

That study focused on safety issues facing pedestrian traffic in the south end of town, and the establishment of pedestrian-friendly access, particularly in getting to the downtown area.

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